The recommended dosage of Elavil when first beginning depression treatment is 75 mg daily, divided into two or three smaller doses. For most people, the maximum dosage is 150 mg a day. It can take several weeks to see the full effects of Elavil on your depression.
The dose of Elavil® (amitriptyline hydrochloride) your healthcare provider prescribes will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- The medical condition being treated
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be taking.
As always, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
When treating depression, the starting dose of Elavil is 75 mg total daily (divided into two or three smaller doses). Or, instead of several doses a day, the starting dosage can be 50 mg to 100 mg, taken once a day at bedtime. Your Elavil dosage can be increased slowly, if necessary. A starting amount of up to 100 mg is acceptable for people who are in the hospital.
For teenage depression or depression in the elderly, lower dosages are recommended. A good starting amount for these people is Elavil 10 mg three times daily, or 25 mg once a day at bedtime.
Generally, Elavil should be started at a low dosage (especially in the elderly) and increased slowly, if necessary. The maximum dose for most people is 150 mg total daily. People who are in the hospital can take up to 300 mg per day.
Considerations for people taking Elavil include the following:
- Elavil should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- If you do not take your Elavil as scheduled, take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dosage of Elavil.
- Your dosage can be taken with or without food. If Elavil upsets your stomach, try taking it with food.
- If you are experiencing bothersome drowsiness or dizziness with Elavil, ask your healthcare provider about taking your dose at bedtime instead of during the day. This may help decrease drowsiness or dizziness.
- It often takes as long as four to six weeks to see the full antidepressant effect of Elavil. Try to give the medication a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
- For Elavil to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. The drug will not work if you take it in a way other than how your healthcare provider prescribes.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your Elavil dosage, please talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. Stopping the medicine abruptly may increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms.